Business

Younkers to close all its stores by August

Bankruptcy judge signs off on Bon-Ton liquidation

Younkers at Westdale is one of two Iowa locations that will close this year. Photographed on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Younkers at Westdale is one of two Iowa locations that will close this year. Photographed on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Younkers, a chain of stores founded more than a century ago in Iowa, will close all its stores after a bankruptcy judge signed off on the liquidation of its parent company.

The closures will affect the Younkers at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids and the Younkers at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the owner of Younkers, will shutter all of its stores by the end of August, according to an agreement it reached with liquidators this week in bankruptcy court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath signed off on the agreement Wednesday.

The company will dispose of all its inventory and assets and conduct “an orderly wind-down of its operations,” the company said on its website.

Bon-Ton, it continued, is “committed to minimizing the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve.”

Bon-Ton operates 17 stores across Iowa, including Younkers locations in Des Moines, Davenport, Dubuque, Marshalltown and Waterloo and a Herberger’s in Ottumwa.

It had previously announced the closure of the Younkers at Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids.

The company had run about 256 stores under nameplates including Younkers, Herberger’s, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s and Elder-Beerman.

It had about 23,000 employees in 23 states as of Feb. 2, according to bankruptcy filings.

Younkers was founded by three brothers as a general store in Keokuk in 1856.

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It was purchased by Equitable of Iowa in 1979 and then Proffitt’s in 1995, which made it a division of Saks Fifth Avenue. Bon-Ton acquired Younkers in 2006.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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